This past month, my book club read “Julie and Julia.” It was something that had been on my list for a little while. I love reading food related books, and memoirs also rate highly among my favorites. AND I also like a lighter read, as prior to this I had read “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” which was fabulous, but by no means light. At all.
Part of the reason that so many of us in my book club wanted to read this was because the movie was coming out soon. And also, a few of us are food bloggers, and many of us are just plain into food.
I read the book cover to cover in a matter of a few days. The writing is great, I love the idea of the giant undertaking of cooking all of Julia Child’s recipes in “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1.” Not that I would ever do such a thing, as we all know I am extremely picky, and you won’t find me making a gelee with a calves hoof or scraping marrow out of a bone (although if she can do it, maybe I can do it too).
The book also made me want to learn more about Julia Child and her life. I realized I don’t really know much about her, minus the fact that whenever you mention her name, someone breaks out the high pitched voice and pretends to be hosting a cooking show.
So naturally I had to go see the movie, as well. And I really liked it. But is it wrong that I liked the parts about Julia Child so much more than the parts based on the book? Maybe it has to do with the fact that I JUST read the book, but it also could be that Meryl Streep did a FABULOUS job of playing Julia Child.
She made me laugh, many, many times (she even made my husband laugh, which I was not expecting, he had NO expectations for the movie whatsoever), and left me wanting more. I wanted to go look up old episodes of “The French Chef,” I wanted to read her book, “My Life in France” and I feel like my cookbook collection is incomplete without her classic book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1.” not to mention the fact that I don’t own “The Joy of Cooking.”
Sure, Amy Adams was great as Julie Powell, but there was something magical about Julia Child. Maybe Julie’s story hit a little too close to home, as I started my blog over a year ago, as something to give me some sort of purpose, and as a creative outlet. Because let’s face it, a former art student who works a 9-5 and makes NO art gets sick of being asked “oh, so what kind of art do you do?” and having no good answer. I could relate to her on a certain level.
But Julia Child was like some sort of whimsical fantasy chef, a woman who started out just loving food, and then making a living out of doing what she loves. Again, I can relate to that as well, as most artists (and people who are obsessed with baking) have a very hard time making a living doing what they love.
In short, go see the movie, laugh your butt off, and don’t be afraid to use a little butter. It never hurt anyone. And read the book too.